Tag: Youtube

Pass It On: What Google Glasses Will Be Like to Wear – Point Of View

I love new technology and I’ve been watching what Google’s new glasses are going to be capable of.  There are a lot of upsides to being able to access information without your hands.  Watch this video and I’ll give you a few of my thoughts below, good and bad:

Wow – pretty cool.  The upside seems to be that you’ll be able to record things without having to pull out a camera.  That’ll be really handy when you’re doing something dangerous or skilled. I picture “How To” videos becoming very easy to make.  Also, it seems that people having fun can continue to have fun.

The downsides?  I see a lot of people trying to stand still to take videos, talking incessantly into the thing when they don’t understand how to make prompts work, and awkward moments with people just staring forward like a robot watching video that you can’t see.  Kind of freaky.

What are your thoughts?  Comment below!

Passion of the Cat – Woman Really Loves Cats (Meme Video)

I saw this today and couldn’t help but pass it on.  This woman made an EHarmony video, and couldn’t help but delve into the depths of her need to love, hug, and adopt every cat that has ever lived.  Its soooo catchy it hurts, and the clips of cats with auto tune catchiness is impossible to walk away from.  Enjoy this video and smile:

God and the New Musics (Owl City – Galaxies) – Would You Worship God in Music Like This?

Around 1996 – 1998, as a teen, I began to search for electronic forms of music that were fun and not too technical.  I also wanted the music to be positive, full of life, and have some resonance with my values – especially in respect to a Creator, God of the Universe.

Sadly, I never found that music I was looking for back then.  In the electronica soundscapes, I liked the sound of Aphex Twin, but the distorted view of life was way to out of this world for me.  In the Christian music world, there were people almost where I was pointing myself but not quite there.  Bands like Joy Electric, Skillet, and even Jars of Clay sometimes hit on the poetry of life that I was looking for, as well as the fast moving electric music launched a bit off the dock from traditional rock sounds and guitar.  The compositions of Joy Electric, while interesting, and done with a synth, were still missing something.  I listened in awe of the technical prowess – and at JE concerts, I was blown away by the musical skill. But the poppy fun seemed to be missing. The voice was often harsh and the lyrics weren’t as deep as I’d hoped.

Only recently, I discovered Owl City through Youth Ministry Video Samplers. I put the music on my iphone for running with, and particularly, I have fell in love with “Galaxies” (a song) as well as the entirety of the albums which range in topics from God and faith to Girlfriends in summer and healing from relationship withdrawal and finally environmentalism and sometimes science.  I love it.

Returning to “Galaxies”, which seems to be a song that uses the imagery of galaxies colliding to express the feeling of loss and despair in life, but then breaks out into a worship chorus about God being the “Only North Star I would follow this far”.  And its like candy to the ear.  It comes naturally and flows through the person, without any harsh moments or hurting.  Its just real, and I want to worship along with it.  I’ve experienced God through the expression of sound and lyric.

Take a few minutes and watch the live performance, but focus on the actual song if possible:

I have one question as I watch this and one statement to follow.

The Question: Would you Worship God in music like this?

If a church contracted with Owl City, or a band similar in sound and composition, to come in and write songs of worship for your church, or better yet – your whole community.  Would you be willing to enter into this musical space and allow God’s spirit to move?  Would you glorify God and thank him in this expression of sound?  Can you?

My Answer: I want to be in a Church that goes beyond music like this – that reaches and creates music worthy of God, and that reaches every ear with goodness.  I want to be part of a movement of music that enlivens the soul and brings new people into the presence of the Creator.  With clever and true lyrics, expressing our desire to be nearer to God, and writing about what God has done, is doing, and will do!

I currently serve in a church that sings traditional hymns.  I love them, and they are good things.  They once were very cutting edge and they spread because people entered into them and were surprised to experience God in them.  They were tunes that people understood, and in the music of the time.

If you are a person of God – and a musical person – could you and would you commit yourself to creating and blossoming a musical culture where all people would come and experience something greater than themselves?  I suppose the composers of the past have tried – and often found  a bit of God’s glory through the resonance of vibrations in the air.  How will you express God’s greatness and centrality in your life?  What do you sing about?

So in conclusion – Thank you to Owl City and musicians across the country who have made the music I’ve been looking for.  I’ll try not to over-consume, and I’ll worship God and give thanks for creating people who can make such great compositions.  Peace.

The Transfiguration: Sufjan Stevens and the Miracle

A while back I was asked to speak in a series on the amazing events of Jesus’s life, particularly the Transfiguration.  Since that talk, this song has really impacted me, and helped me feel the wonder of that moment.  It is five minutes, to make sure you have a moment, or come back to view later.  Here is the video, and below is my talk outline.  Enjoy:

God’s Glory: Jesus’ Transfiguration

by Daniel Griswold

Introduction: Cultural Points

*Spell of Transfiguration

In Harry Potter, it is a spell from which one thing is turned into something else bound by certain rules such as the rule that food cannot be made out of thin air.

*trans·fig·u·ra·tion 

n. A marked change in form or appearance; a metamorphosis.

-A change that glorifies or exalts.

-Bible The sudden emanation of radiance from the person of Jesus that occurred on a mountain.

-The Christian feast commemorating this event, observed on August 6 in the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches, on August 19 in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and on the Sunday before Lent in most Protestant churches.

*From the Greek:

(metemorfw¿qh), meta, denoting change or transfer

*Kafka’s Metamorphosis

A book about a man who is radically transformed into a millipede and who is quickly hidden by his family in a small dark room due to the shame and fear of such a large insect in their home.

Basically, a Transfiguration is a drastic change from one state to another.

Why would something need to transform?

1) Protection (Insects change their shape to hide from enemies)

2) New Function (Software must transform in order to perform new tasks for industry, ex: DOS/Windows)

3) By mere accident (suddenly going bald – like myself)

4) To Reveal Something Unknown (Revealing one’s face from a cloak)

Scripture to Read:  Mark 9:1-9, Matthew 17:1-9, Luke 9:28-36

From the Disciples Perspectives:

1) They went to pray on a mountain

(Moses: Exodus 12-13) (Elijah: 1 Kings 10:11)

2) Jesus transforms during prayer into a glowing white figure

denotes the promise of the return of Christ (Revelation 1:12-20)

3) Jesus is talking to two guys: Moses and Elijah, about Jesus’ coming death

4) They offer to build three tabernacles

(They were ready as warriors to usher in God’s kingdom right there)

5) A cloud overshadowed them and they entered it

(God’s Glory Cloud: Exodus 15-18)

6)  God’s voice comes from the cloud stating Jesus’ position as God’s Son and gives him authority.

Application:

Prayer – Beginnings of communication with God

Observation – Seeing What God is Doing

Respects – Offering what you can do to God

Response – Entering God’s Glory and Obeying what God tells us

 

What does Jesus’ Transformation do?

For the three Disciples – Gave them a glimpse into the future, where Christ is glorified and is the head of the eternal church, in beauty and in strength.  Though they wished the kingdom to come any moment, the whispers of a coming departure/exodus signaled that there was more work to be done, and it would be a great time of struggle.  The reality became the disciples becoming Apostles spreading the word of the Risen Christ after his death, and the message of hope and salvation was spread even to the point of martyrdom.

For Us – As we seek out God and observe this world, we see that things are not always the way we wish them to be, but it is from the Transfiguration, the moment of Hope and Beauty, that we can see a glimpse of what things will be like one day when we will live in the true City of God.  Until that day, we must respect God by offering our hands and hearts to His good work in this world that seems to have so much good, but yet so much wrong overwhelming it.   By obeying God, we can be in tune with His will and ensure that our lives are not part of a miniscule individual plan, but rather a Greater and Divinely conceived plan that encompasses all time beginning in the moments before Creation, up through the History of Israel from Abraham to the time of the Kings, to the Fall of Israel’s worldly kingdom, the eventual rise of Rome, the birth of Christ, and our current era which is marked by the work of the body of Christ.  Have previous generations stepped up?  Yes, some have.  But can we do better and give everything to our God?  Absolutely, Yes!

Song for Thought and Reapplication of Scripture:

Sufjan Stevens – Transfiguration from the Album “Swan Song”

 

Just Like My First Year at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary – Just Paste My Face On This Video

A Day In The Life of a Gordon Conwell Seminarian

Probably the most stretching period of my life was while I was living on campus at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, working at Grace Chapel in Lexington, and taking Greek my freshman year.  I remember sitting at my desk at 12:30 am, exhausted, and my mind literally stopped working.  It just didn’t want to go any further.  I had to juggle quite a bit to make ministry and seminary work simultaneously, all while keeping up with Amanda (which is hard to do!).  Three and a half years later (total of four years), I graduated, and felt the cool satisfaction of a hard season of life, but which has rewarded me in every other area and aspect of my life.  Check out this video, and pretty much paste my face onto the main dude:

How Does the UMC General Conference affect the South Carolina Churches – Pastor Ken Nelson

A while back I had the opportunity to meet Rev. Ken Nelson, and I remember coming away having experienced a guy who really cares about people and the church.  Like many, he is down in Tampa, FL for the General Conference, which happens once every four years.  Here are his thoughts about what GC means for South Carolina and the rest of the church:

So basically, his concern is, what will the church look like in the future, who will be allowed to lead, and how will we meet our challenges as a church.

If you are at General Conference, share your thoughts so far in the comments below.  If you are not, I suggest you check out the General Conference page at http://www.umc.com for some great resources and connections.

(Image Source)

Pass It On: Fight the Stereotype – African Guys Use Humor to Debunk Western Entertainment’s Vision

I love this video.  Watch and read my thoughts below.

I’ll be honest.  All the missions trips that folks go on have pictures of little children (usually of color, definitely of another ethnic origin), who are living in poverty.  No doubt, the work that is being done is good, but there is almost always a greater picture than what is presented at the Missions Lunch Debriefing.  Perhaps it is partly our heritage and traditional views, and the ethos presented in Western Film and Photography, but we have a small picture of the world outside (unless we have traveled thoroughly).  I’ve been concerned when Short Term Missionaries come back after a week with photos of the people they are helping, especially in connection with the stories.  People burst into tears talking about the poverty in other lands, but when it comes to poverty in our own areas with people of our own culture, we are often not as emotional.  I sometimes wonder if people from other countries go into our inner cities and poor rural areas, and come back with pictures of children in America who are impoverished in the Appalachian mountains?  We have done a lot for our own people, but in Africa and places across the globe, there are people in their own cultures who are helping out as well.  We need to see and tell the bigger story and give credit to those people who are living lives that will give back to their own cultures and industries.  The world is changing, and our view of everyone out there needs to grow quite a bit.

What are your thoughts?  What did you think about the video?

(Source: Philanthropy.com)

Remembering Chuck Colson, Video

It was recently reported that Chuck Colson had passed away.

I had heard his name quite a bit for his work in prison ministry, and he had spoken at my previous church, Grace Chapel, while I worked in the High School ministry there.  He had a big impact, and people were buzzed even after he left.  I’ve noticed that some of the folks I follow on twitter (like Eric Metaxas @EricMetaxas, writer of “Amazing Grace”, the story of William Wilberforce), were very close to him and were setting the record straight concerning the order of his conversion.  I was not alive during Watergate, so I had to rely on reporting, and it seems like the news has focused on the political, and left out the spiritual aspect of this man’s life.

According to reports, Chuck Colson, Nixon’s mean man, went to jail, then converted to Evangelical Christianity, and started a prison ministry.  In a Freudian kind of way, the media would usually be right.  You would expect that to be the case.

Those close to him, and in his own words, and recorded on video (some of it below), you see that the reports are not completely correct.  In actuality, Chuck Colson, Nixon’s mean man, in the midst of scandal, experienced a conversion and convicted of his sin, became an Evangelical Christian, plead guilty to his charges, and went to prison rather than fight the charges.  While in prison, he realized that he was not any different than the folks there, and in response to God’s grace to him, began a life of ministry to prisoners.  That’s powerful!

I don’t know a whole lot about Mr. Colson.  It is easy to mark off a guy who went to prison, and he had some big enemies, but Winston Churchill is quoted, “So you have enemies? Good.  So you stood up for something in your life.”  Seems like this was that kind of guy.

I hope you take some time to watch the video below.  It was originally on this blog by Walt Meuller, who has some more eloquent and understanding words of Mr. Colson’s impact on his generation.  Read Walt’s blog if you have time, and watch this rememberance:

Holy Conferencing – UMC Ministers Speaking on Holding Ourselves to a High Standard as Christians in Debate

The United Methodist Church is gathering in Tampa, Florida (which is done once every four years in different locations) to talk about the issues that challenge or encourage the church.  Below is a video, in which ministers speak on what Holy Conferencing will mean in 2012 as hot topics such as Human Sexuality and Church Organization and Restructuring come up.  One thing that impresses me is the commitment of Methodists to “Holy Conferencing,” which basically boils down to recognizing the headship of Jesus Christ, and seeing other Christians as worthy of learning and exchanging perspectives from.  It allows the heart to temper the head in debate, and I believe helps people see all points on a perspective.  This scripture, from a pdf on Guidelines for Holy Conferencing, says a lot:

Colossians 3:12-16a,17
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has
a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so
you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything
together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which
indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ
dwell in you richly…And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The video is over an hour, which may be long, but the first 25 minutes are worth it.  Check it out:

Pray for the UMC during this season of General Conferencing.  To learn more, click here.

If you are a interested in Church Governance like me, visit and see more videos of General Conference here at their Youtube Channel.

“I’ve Seen It All” – Youth Minister – Great Video about Youth Ministry

As a youth minister, there are up times and down times.  We see some of the most immature stuff, but then out of nowhere people we thought were just messing around start changing the world.  If you’re a youth minister or a volunteer in youth ministry – watch this and nod your head – alot: